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Professional Development Committee

About the Professional Development committee

The Professional Committee will identify, organize, and implement educational events that may, or may not, coincide with the annual conference. This committee will also be responsible for outreach to educational institutions and develop any annual GIS Day activities.

This committee is focused on professional educational opportunities for our members, and promotes the GISP credential. Where possible, the committee will seek opportunities for members to connect with professionals in related technologies.

Suggested activities:

  • Develop professional education workshops
  • Support networking with other industry groups – e.g., combine twice-yearly with King County GIS User group for a meeting, present about WAGISA and GIS at events such as Green Drinks and ASPRS.


The Washington GIS Association (WAGISA) invites you to submit a proposal to conduct a workshop June 11th, the day before the Washington GIS Conference, or as a stand-alone workshop for the 2024 calendar year.

We are seeking instructors to give educational presentations and workshops on a wide range of GIS topics. All submissions are welcome.


Possible workshop topics include: 

  • Implementation Topics: Transportation, Asset Management, Emergency Services, Mobile GIS, Remote Sensing, Drones, Lidar
  • Data Topics: Open Data, Database Storage, Spatial SQL
  • Process Topics: Map Production, Data Creation, Communication 
  • Developer Topics: Python, R for ArcGIS, Portal, Model Builder, Customizing Apps, Open Source Solutions
  • Young Professional Topics: Getting Into the Job Market

Workshop details:         

  • Half or Full Day 
  • 8:30-12:00 and 1:30-5:00 June 11th, 2024. Tacoma, WA
  • Attendance at these workshops averages 10-50 per workshop. 

Workshop presenters will receive a portion of the proceeds from the workshop. The amount will vary based on enrollment numbers. Organizers will be in touch after submissions to work out specific details. 

Abstract submission requirements:

  • Workshop Title
  • Workshop Description (to be published in the conference program, 300-word limit)
  • Learning Objectives 
  • Presenters’ Bios (300-word limit)            
  • Half or Full Day

Submit abstracts to our Google Form or email to:

PREVIOUS Activities

2023 Conference Workshops

Aerial Mapping Adventures: A Workshop on Drone Mapping and GIS to Unlock Potential and Elevate Insights

Full Day (2023 workshop)
Peter Keum, GISP and Greg Lang, GISP

    This workshop focuses on acquiring the right tools for the right jobs. We will introduce the basics of drone technology, including the different types of drones, components, and accessories. We will also discuss the various regulations and requirements for drone usage, including registration, FAA licensing, and flying restrictions.

    The following topics will be covered:

    • Drone Hardware, selecting the right tools for the right job.
    • Drone data processing software, what they are, and how they are used. Explore different software that is on the market. (DroneDeploy, Pix4D, Metashape, Sitescan, WebODM, MapsMadeEasy, ODMLightning).
    • Data Capture: Best practices mission planning for flying 2D aerial mapping & 3D model generation, including using GCP (ground control points) and RTK.(Real Time Kinematics)
    • Drone data product integration with GIS, including Esri ArcPro, Esri ArcGIS Online, QGIS, and open-source web mapping tools.  

    There will be a hands-on drone flying session, where you can practice flying a drone and collect data. Our instructors will be available to guide you through the process and answer any questions.

    Peter Keum, GISP
    - Senior GIS Specialist with the King County Wastewater Treatment Division. Peter has over 20 plus years of GIS work in the Wastewater Treatment Division. He is a drone enthusiast, flying since 2014, and has been a certified FAA Certified Drone Pilot since 2018. Peter developed the Wastewater Treatment Division drone policy/guideline for King County and is managing the drone program for the WTD to support its operation. He also co-organizes the WA GISA Drone Special Interest Group (DroneSIG) with Greg Lang, which meets monthly. Open-source enthusiast, he is an active member of CUGOS (Cascadia Users of Geospatial Open Source), Co-Organizer of Puget Sound QGIS User Group.

    Greg Lang, GISP - GIS/IT Lead Systems Engineer with Pierce County. Greg has over 18 years of local government GIS and Asset Management enterprise-level implementation, training, and coordination experience, plus over a decade of non-profit leadership experience, including extensive flight operations training and mission experience in a rescue role. His current role includes IT technical leadership and coordination of GIS, GNSS, Drone, and Asset Management services for Pierce County, Washington, and he is an FAA Certified Drone Pilot. Greg also co-organizes the WA GISA Drone Special Interest Group (DroneSIG) with Peter Keum, which meets monthly.

    ArcGIS Imagery Workflows - Manage, Analyze, and Visualize Your Imagery and Raster Data in ArcGIS

    Full Day (2023 workshop)
    TJ Abbenhaus, Esri and Ryan Richardson, Esri

      Come join Esri for a workshop using the latest in advanced tools for imagery management, visualization, analysis and sharing. In this workshop you will learn about the ArcGIS solutions including ArcGIS Reality, Oriented Imagery, ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS Enterprise. We will use ArcGIS Pro to create Mosaic datasets and publish collections of data using ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online (SaaS) and ArcGIS Image Server. Participants in this workshop will also get hands on experience configuring various web applications that leverage these imagery services. We will also explore how to take imagery from various sensors, from smartphones, to UAVs, to fixed wing aerial imagery, to satellites and use it in ArcGIS.

      TJ Abbenhaus is a Senior Solution Engineer in the Esri Olympia Regional Office and has previously worked for Kitsap County, the State of Montana, University of Montana, Missoula County and Yakima County using GIS. TJ supports local government customers in the Pacific Northwest region. TJ studied at the University of Montana where he obtained a Master of Arts in Geography creating internet information products.

      Ryan Richardson is a GIS professional with a passion for using technology to solve complex problems. He currently works as a Solution Engineer at Esri. Ryan supports the State and Local Government team out of Esri's regional office in Olympia, WA. He is pursuing a Master's degree in GIS and holds a GIS Graduate Certificate from the University of Denver.

      Washington Government GIS Leaders Forum

      Full Day (2023 workshop)
      Christina Chelf, City of Tacoma; Matt Collins, City of Wenatchee; and Stephen Beimborn, City of Seattle

        A gathering of GIS Leaders from around Washington State to learn from each other, share ideas and develop skills related to leading GIS groups.  Past sessions have included such topics as strategies for developing staff, forming relationships with customers and peer agencies, putting together training programs, securing funding, assigning roles, prioritizing work, conducting projects, working collaboratively with the IT Department (or working from within the IT Department), deciding when to hire consultants, and other common management topics. 

        For the 2023 session, we plan to compare and contrast the organizations represented at the session, deep dive into the various ways that GIS groups tend to be organized (and the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches), hear about integrations between CADD, GIS and Asset Management systems from a panel of our peers, and leave some time at the end to discuss the most pressing or compelling issues identified by the group.  

        This workshop is sponsored by WAGISA's Washington Local Government GIS Leaders special interest group.

        Christina Chelf is a GIS professional with over 10 years experience. Currently she serves as the GIS Manager for City of Tacoma where she leads a team of 8 that is responsible for providing maps, spatial analysis, and data management for city staff. She is also the Vice President of the Washington GIS Association and a part time instructor in the University of Washington GIS Certificate Program.

        Matt Collins, GISP and GeoMentor, is GIS and Asset Management Manager for City of Wenatchee and on the WGGL board. He’s spent 25 years playing in all corners of GIS for infrastructure and Enterprise Administration; freelancer, US Air Force contractor, or the last five at City of Wenatchee Public Works; where he’s led Asset Management and Record Drawing integration of software, policies and best practices to the City’s divisions. The City was an early adopter of the Utility Network as a method of database normalization and quality control. A true GIS Nerd, he’s an avid model railroader and uses GIS to plan and map his newest train layouts.

        Stephen Beimborn is the Manager of GIS Analysts for the City of Seattle. In his forty years working in the GIS field, he has done a little bit of everything, including cartography, analysis, programming, business systems integration, project and portfolio management, and people management. He has enjoyed it all, but none more than the cartography. Prior to joining city government nearly twenty-eight years ago, he worked in the environmental consulting field. He greatly enjoys his current role in local government because of the endless opportunities for using GIS in practical ways to solve real problems and help communities thrive.

        How to Fund, Start, and Enhance GIS/CAD/SCADA Based Asset Management in your Organization

        Full Day (2023 workshop)
        Arnab Bhowmick, Aktivov Asset Management

          Local governments struggle with maintenance and operations of their assets, while trying to set appropriate rates for the upkeep of the infrastructure to the required state of good repair, and comply with various regulations, condition assessments, and reporting requirements. Organizations confront challenges with tactical maintenance management, strategic asset management, strategic planning, capital and comprehensive planning, rate setting, project management, forecasts, and budgets etc. While good asset management enables you to get the most from your assets, proper rate setting helps you fully pay for the system fairly. They work in tandem, are easier to achieve than you might think, and your citizens will appreciate the results you provide them on both fronts. This is an immersive session that will discuss the basics and go beyond to equip you with the knowledge and a real time data driven approach to implement or enhance asset management programs while setting appropriate rates for your utilities.

          Arnab Bhowmick has more than 23+ years of technical & managerial experience in business & operations, asset management, GIS, emergency management, IT security, strategic planning etc. He is the Chair of American Public Works Association APWA, WA Asset Management Committee, and has been advising the both private & public sector executives, managers, department heads for a couple decades on asset management, GIS/IT, business continuity, technology trends, and e-governance. He has worked for many multinational firms including Weston, ESRI, Autodesk, Tata Group, and founded Aktivov Asset Management. He has a bachelor’s in civil engineering and multiple masters in GIS, business, & sustainable engineering.

          Professional Development Committee Members

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